By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
I become incensed when I hear the continual chant of our progressive state legislators, blaming every evil that befalls the country and the world on rich people.
Unless you were lucky enough to be born into a rich family, like Maine’s Senate President Justin Alfond or the Kennedys of “Camelot,” chances are your wealth was obtained through long hours, personal drive, creativity and the knowledge of how to obtain financial stability through labor, not government handouts.
This self-reliance makes you an enemy of those charged with creating a “Nanny State.”
One method progressives use to accomplish their goals is the transformation of American history classes into social science classes. The curriculum waters down the time needed for students to grasp the concepts that founded and continually guaranteed this country military superiority, financial greatness and strong morality.
American history courses are diluted with weeks of geography and drug-abuse lectures. Is it any wonder why the segment “Jay Walking” on NBC’s Tonight Show got such ridiculously uninformed answers to questions about American history?
The curriculum focuses on mediocre and obscure people skipping over many movers and shakers responsible for shaping our great nation. This, all in the name of political correctness.
What’s the difference between fat cats paying $30,000 a plate at a Democratic campaign fundraiser and well-to-do people doing the same at a Republican fundraiser? Attend a political convention and take note of the respective parking lots. Both Democrats and Republicans always seem to have a large number of cars parked in the lot whose affordability is beyond the average taxpayer.
At a Democratic convention, look at those on the stage running the show and those on the floor: no income disparity here, right?
The history of this country bears the stain of slavery, a barbaric institution that was in direct conflict with our Constitution. But African-Americans were not the only group to face hardships and discrimination. Italians, Irish, French Canadians (Les Habitants), Greeks, Jews and a host of other groups were far from warmly welcomed into this country. All these groups faced adversity, and many overcame it through hard work and education.
Black Americans possess and exhibit the above traits, yet are still portrayed unfairly as an underclass. We have a black President and attorney general, as well as highly accomplished senators, representatives, governors, doctors, CEOs, police officers, firefighters, city workers, athletes and actors—all successful in their chosen endeavors.
Yet progressives continue to hold up gangbangers, criminals, welfare recipients and the uneducated in order to make the argument that black Americans are a persecuted underclass, thus denigrating the accomplishments of the greater majority of our black population.
Those in all the aforementioned groups took jobs few would take today. There was no government assistance, like food stamps and Medicaid. They worked long hours in deplorable conditions to provide food, shelter and clothing for their families and themselves. Family took care of family. They did not turn their backs on family members and send them to some government agency for assistance.
Prior to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” promising young men and women had to leave school to get jobs to help their families survive. With the inception of the Great Society, children continued to drop out of school, not to help and support their family, but to enjoy the fruits of federal and state welfare benefits.
When you see a successful businessman, chances are he achieved his success because he did not buy into the Great Society or the war on poverty. He shunned the moniker of victim. He studied hard, and he took temporary, minimum-wage jobs from which he acquired character, a work ethic and money to pursue his dreams. In short, he achieved the American Dream.
It is time our society is returned to its roots. We are a country of movers and shakers who prosper from hard work, not from the progressive, social-justice rantings of our domestic Euro-trash wannabes that sit around all day debating theory and who find manual labor demeaning and beneath them.